College Basketball

more stats

Top-25 showdown pits Cowboys against Tigers

Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Old Spice Classic went according to the chalk, as the fifth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys and the 21st-ranked Memphis Tigers will meet up in the championship bout on Sunday night at HP Field House.

These teams met earlier in the season as a non-bracketed game for this event, and Oklahoma State made easy work of the Tigers at Gallagher-Iba Arena on Nov. 19, 101-80, behind a career-high 39 points from Marcus Smart. The Cowboys now lead the all-time series, 4-2.

After taking down Purdue in the opening round (97-87), the Cowboys had a much more difficult task in the semifinals, as Butler overcame a 16-point deficit to bring the game within one. However, after Khyle Marshall missed two free throws with nine seconds left, Oklahoma State escaped with a 69-67 win to remain perfect on the season at 7-0.

Memphis' one loss to OSU aside, it has otherwise been flawless at 4-1. The Tigers dismissed Siena in Thursday's opening round, 87-60, and followed that up with a 76-69 triumph over LSU on Friday, overcoming a late deficit by finishing the game on a 16-7 run.

Oklahoma State had a strong shooting day in its semifinal-round contest with Butler, making 50 percent from the field, but it was only 4-of-15 from 3-point range and nearly cost itself with a 1-of-5 free-throw shooting effort in the second half. Despite committing five turnovers, Smart was still outstanding as usual with 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Le'Bryan Nash put up 15 points, while Kamari Murphy tallied 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench. The 69-point effort was a disappointing one for the Cowboys, who ranked second in the nation in posting 95.3 points per game on 51.6 percent field goal shooting and a +28.7 scoring margin. Smart is living up to his billing as a preseason First Team All-American with 21.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.3 steals per game. Markel Brown (17.9 ppg) is an outstanding second option, as he drains 50 percent of his 3-point tries (16-of-32). Nash (13.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Phil Forte (12.9 ppg) and Brian Williams (10.9 ppg) are all integral pieces to the puzzle as well.

The Tigers were outshot from the field by LSU the last time out, 56.6 percent to 45.3 percent, but they made their mark in the takeaway battle by forcing 24 turnovers, while committing just 10 themselves, and they scored 33 points off of those miscues. Austin Nichols paced the effort with a strong showing in the frontcourt, putting up 19 points and eight rebounds. Chris Crawford scored 17 points on 3-of-7 from 3-point range, while Joe Jackson registered 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals. While Memphis may not be having as dominant a season as OSU, it is still playing excellent basketball on both ends of the floor with positive margins in scoring (+15.6), rebounding (+3.2) and turnovers (+6.6). Jackson is the senior leader for the young squad and brings 14.8 points per game to the table. Nichols' (12.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) freshman campaign has gotten off to a strong start, while Michael Dixon Jr. (11.2 ppg), Nick King (11.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg), Shaq Goodwin (10.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Crawford (9.0 ppg) are all regular contributors as well.

12/01 10:47:54 ET

Other Stories

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Toyota Owner's 400 from Richmond

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on FOX50

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 620am

  • MiLB: Bulls at Charlotte

    Wednesday at 11:05 am on 620am

  • MLB: LA Angels at NY Yankees

    Saturday at 1:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
Final
NYM 4
ATL 3
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
MIL 3
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
Final
TAM 1
NYY 5
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
Final
CHC 2
CIN 8
Final
TEX 2
CWS 16
Final
OAK 4
HOU 1
Final
LOS 4
ARI 1
Final
COL 9
PHI 10
Final
SDP 3
SFG 4
Final
BOS 6
BAL 5
11:05am Today
BOS
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
TEX
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
Final
CHI 93
WAS 102
Final
HOU 120
POR 122
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
Final
BOS 4
DET 1
Final
MON 3
TAM 2
Final
SJS 7
LOS 2
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
COL
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
9:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR